Frequently Asked Questions

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Why is career planning so important?

If you have a written career objective and a strategy for its achievement, you are much more likely to thrive in your career and the more you thrive at work the more likely you are to be able to protect your livelihood. We have short sessions that can help you to plan your career, plus our dedicated Career Planning Programme. Read more here…

Why do you place so much emphasis on understanding a client’s career drivers?

When people are generally unhappy, feeling frustrated or demotivated at work, the likely cause is that their career drivers are not being satisfied by the work they are doing or the career they are in.  This may indicate it’s time to change career or at least to find a company with a working environment, culture and ethos that is more in tune with the individual’s drivers. We test clients to help identify individual character traits so they can identify for themselves what their own drivers are. This may help break patterns or long-term career problems and help point an individuals towards a better career path. Understanding career drivers is a crucial first step in career planning. Read more here…

Why do recruiters often seem so unhelpful?

Every company places its emphasis on helping its clients. Recruitment consultancies, headhunting organisations and employment agencies are no different but, mostly, their clients are companies and organisations who are recruiting, not the people being recruited. People are essentially the ‘products’ they sell to their clients: they don’t work for people. Proteus has established its reputation since 1991 as working to help our clients with their careers.

What percentage of jobs comes from the advertised market?

For those professional people who have sought help and guidance from Proteus to secure a new position or to advance their careers, only around 10% of them historically have found their next position by applying for an advertised post. We work with our clients to develop other techniques to secure placement, and most of our clients have therefore achieved success away from the advertised job market.

What percentage of jobs comes from the ‘hidden’ jobs market?

Historically, for Proteus clients, around 90% find their next position through means other than applying for an advertised position. We work with our clients to develop other techniques to secure placement, and most of our clients have therefore achieved success away from the advertised job market.

What method do most of your clients use to find their next job?

The highest probability of success comes from approaching organisations directly combined with referrals, recommendations and networking.  With help from experienced Proteus consultants, around 70% of our clients find their next role using this method.

What is the approximate age distribution of your clients?

At any given time we are usually working with a few clients in their 20s and quite a lot in their 30s, but most are usually in their 40s and 50s and a few in their early 60s. With our experience we can tailor our services to your needs at different points in your life and career, such as recent graduates; mid-career executives; women returning from maternity and motherhood; redundancy and retirees.

What is Career Management?

Those two words together are probably one of the best examples of an oxymoron you’ll ever find because most careers are not managed, they just happen and serendipity takes over.  Essentially Career Management has two major components: it’s about defining your most suitable career destination and then making sure you achieve it. We exist to help you define and achieve.

What method do most of your clients use to find their next job?

The highest probability of success comes from approaching organisations directly combined with referrals, recommendations and networking.  With help from experienced Proteus consultants, around 70% of our clients find their next role using this method.

What does Proteus Consultancy do?

We work with people, one on one, helping them to solve any particular career challenge they may be facing.

Should I mention my age and my marital status on my CV?

No, there is no requirement for you to do this. In fact, our research has found there are a number of indicators in ‘metadata’ on your CV that can indicate age, such as your school dates and even your email address. Our CV services are aimed at helping our clients address all these issues.

Is there anything special I need to know about Skype interviews?

Yes there certainly is. This type of interview is becoming ever more popular both with recruiters and companies. We offer various modules for individual themed meetings and one of the most popular covers precisely this topic.

Is it becoming more difficult for older candidates to secure new positions?

Surprisingly the answer is “no.”  The advent of the age discrimination legislation in 2010 has helped to create a much more level playing field for the older job seeker. Much depends, however, on having the right attitudes and ‘packaging’, which are aspects that we at Proteus are experienced in helping our clients develop and sustain.

Is age discrimination still occurring after the 2010 equality legislation?

Yes we do come across this occasionally but it is never blatant as it used to be and generally now our experience is that it is becoming less and less common, provided the interviewee isn’t self sabotaging with a less than positive attitude. At Proteus we work with our clients to help develop and sustain the right attitude and ‘packaging’ to achieve our clients’ goals.

How old is your oldest client?

The oldest client we have ever helped was aged 68.  He retired from the board of a private bank in London in the mid 1990s but didn’t want to stop working. He finished up managing the finances for Kent Business Link, which was a position he obtained through the Proteus network.

How long has Proteus been operating?

Proteus Consultancy began trading as a management consultancy in 1988. The career management arm of the business was founded by Dr Mike Warren in 1989 when he joined the consultancy. The business was formally established as a limited company on 4th January 1991. Read more here…

Does the company still operate as a management consultancy?

No. The management consultancy arm of the business atrophied and died in 1994 during the 90s recession. It has been operating successfully and solely as a career management company ever since.

Do you see your clients at weekends and in the evenings?

At weekends I’m afraid the answer is ‘no’, but we recognise that some people are in work and unable to attend meetings during normal working hours. Accordingly our last appointments of the day don’t start until 6:00 pm.

Do companies pay expenses for candidates attending interviews?

The practice of paying travel expenses to candidates attending interviews died out in the 1990s.  We do not know of any companies or recruiters who have done this since the beginning of the 21st century. Sorry!

Do all Proteus clients have to attend face-to-face meetings?

No, we try to be as flexible to our client needs as possible. We have consultants in central London but also around the United Kingdom. Many consultations are face-to-face, some are entirely by Skype, others are a combination of these two combined with telephone and email support. We even have some self-study and self-paced courses, much like the Open University system of learning.

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